2023-11-27 Cotic's Cascade Bikepacking Machine May Be One of the Most Versatile Around - autoevolution

Cotic's Cascade Bikepacking Machine May Be One of the Most Versatile Around

Bikes come in all shapes and sizes. Heck, there seems to be a version for every surface out there. In that spirit, we'll be taking a look at a machine that can blend different roads into one smooth and capable experience.
Cotic Cascade With Gear 14 photos
Photo: Cotic Bikes
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Folks, before you, is a bike known as Cascade. It's completed by Cotic, a cycling crew from out in Sheffield, U.K. Have you ever heard of them? It seems that very few people have, but that doesn't mean that what they have to offer is not worthy of your attention; it is. After all, their cycling experience goes back to 2002. Twenty years has got to count for something in this cut-throat of an industry.

As for the Cascade, this bike is meant to take you just about anywhere your legs can carry you, but above all, it can be transformed into one heck of a bikepacking machine. All that starts with the frame and the sort of capabilities Cotic has endowed the Cascade with.

Believe it or not, this bike is completed from an age-old material. Can you guess what it is? If you're thinking steel, or rather, Chromoly, you'd be right. Cotic uses 853 steel from Reynolds to create the forward triangle into each Cascade frame and in-house 4130 Chromoly for the wishbone seat stay.

Before saying you don't think a steel bike is a good idea or outdated, just consider that technology has come a long way since we were kids. Beyond that, steel is the sort of material cycling manufacturers are exploring more and more because of its structural properties; on a molecular level, steel tends to bend before breaking apart, whereas carbon and aluminum break first before a visible bend it witnessed.

Cotic Cascade
Photo: Cotic Bikes
As for the fork, a Cotic Alpaca fork is standard and also completed from steel, but the best part about the frame and its geometry is that it's suitable for suspension forks with up to 100 mm (3.9 in) of travel. Oh, you can also use 27.5 in tires or 29 in tires on this bicycle.

One aspect that gives Cascade such excellent bikepacking capabilities is Cotic's unlimited use of mounts on the frame and fork. You'll find mounts on top and underneath the down tube, on the top tube, and the seat stays. Yes, the fork and seat tube have the same treatment. If you want to see just what can be done with all those mounts, be sure to check out the image gallery.

Now, here's where things get a bit trickier. Depending on your budget and the sort of riding you do, Cotic offers an array of builds to choose from. You can grab the least expensive Cascade with a Microshift Advent 1x10 drivetrain for 2,099 GBP (2,814 USD at current exchange rates) or spend as much as 4,529 GBP (6,073 USD) and rock an SRAM Force 1 and Eagle AXS setup with 12 speeds. Have something else in mind? Just drop 1,265 GBP (1,696 USD) and grab a rolling chassis to deck out with what seems fitting for you. Yup, it's a customizable bike.

Cotic Cascade \(Action\)
Photo: Cotic Bikes
Overall, the large Cascade frame comes in with a weight of 2.63 kg (5.8 lbs), while the Alpaca fork adds on an extra 1.38 kg (3.04 lbs). There is an option for a carbon fork that weighs just 0.65 kg (1.43 lbs).

As for secondary components such as the cockpit and saddle, most of what Cotic mentions is that this puppy rocks a drop bar handlebar with flare and the fact that it's dropper post ready. A feature we see more and more of these days, and with good reason.

If you never considered an adventure or bikepacking machine for your next cycle purchase, you may want to take a more in-depth look into bikes like Cascade as they seem to be capable of a whole lot more than just carry you around town.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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